For relationships to work out, compromise is a non-negotiable part of love. Here’s how to know when to compromise in a relationship (and when to say no).
Have you been in a relationship where the same problem keeps repeating itself? Or when you tried to resolve a problem with your partner you’re worried that ‘giving in’ means losing a part of yourself to keep the other person happy?
I’ve experienced this numerous times.
I found myself in relationships with problems that never got solved. I thought if I tried harder to work on myself or if I just read enough relationship books I would be in a perfect relationship with no problems and no conflicts!
But after years spent in different relationships, I realized that being in love with someone meant I was accepting a set of unsolvable problems.
Everyone is uniquely different, so it would make sense that when two people came together there would always be a set of unsolvable issues. This was a normal part of healthy relationships. For relationships to work out, compromise was a non-negotiable part of love and necessity in all relationships.
But how would you know if you are discounting your feelings and issues when you compromise? This is what I learned.
What is the right kind of compromise?
In my early years of dating I was a conflict avoider because I thought love meant never having to fight or argue. So I was not honest about how I felt about anything and I didn’t defend myself when I felt wronged.
Years later, when I left an ugly relationship, I went to the other extreme and became outspoken about everything. My perspective on conflict resolution was that one person won and one person lost in the end. If my ex got his way it meant I had lost and I was discounted.
So I made sure I voiced my opinion in every situation—even if it strained our relationship. I wanted to be heard and to be counted.
Until I found a happy medium and understood what compromise meant, there was no win-win for both parties in my book.
A healthy, good compromise is when change helps you to become more of your authentic best self for both yourself and your partner. Both of you choose to experience the short lived discomfort of change in return for the greater future gain of personal growth for each other, leading to a happier relationship and individual happiness.
Healthy compromises benefit both parties, enhancing each other’s authenticity, bringing the relationship closer.
The opposite is an unhealthy compromise, where when you make a change you become less of your authentic best self. You lose your aura of happiness and luster in life.
If your partner makes requests that you feel are unhealthy, you need speak up and have a discussion about it.
In a healthy, balanced relationship, the connection and identity of who you are should be enhanced, not diminished.
Signs of Healthy, Growth Changing Compromise
Relationships are unique and dynamic aspects in everyone’s lives. Below are examples of healthy compromises that might come up in every relationship:
- When a partner requests both of you continue to communicate during disagreements, even though it’s challenging for you to open up and be honest
- If your partner encourages you to take better care of your health. They suggest incorporating exercising and healthier eating that work for you and your lifestyle into your routine
- When your partner requests you attend a family function that is important to them, even if they know you don’t get along with a specific family member who will be there
When trying to figure out if the compromise is a healthy one ask yourself the following questions:
- Will this compromise make me feel less than my authentic self?
- Does this compromise only benefit my partner adding to his authority in the relationship?
If this is an unhealthy compromise, it is important have a discussion with your partner and explain why this change does not fit your soul or help bring out your authentic self.
Relationships are about two individuals coming together to help each other become better version of themselves. It is supporting each other’s greater personal growth and development. Be with someone who inspires, challenges and supports you to become the best possible version of YOU.